FARMINGTON — A woman appeared in court for arraignment on charges that allege she faked a cancer diagnosis to obtain narcotic medications.
Charlene Jensen, 45, appeared Wednesday before 2nd District Judge David Hamilton, who scheduled a pretrial conference for Jan. 8.
Jensen remains free on bail on nine third-degree felony forgery charges.
Farmington police investigators said in a probable cause statement that Jensen had been altering her own medical charts in the University of Utah Farmington clinic’s computer system.
Jensen, who was a medical assistant at the clinic, forged blood work orders in a cancer doctor’s name, the document said; she then used the results to convince her primary care physician to prescribe her Dilaudid, a painkiller.
The alleged scheme unraveled May 23 after Jensen arrived at the University of Utah Hospital with “sepsis and cancer related pain.” She said she had a history of endometrial cancer and an immune deficiency.
She was then admitted to the Huntsman Cancer Institute intensive care unit for treatment for septic shock, according to court records.
But a physician assistant became suspicious and contacted her doctor, who said he had not confirmed her cancer diagnosis. The physician assistant confronted her and she said she had been injecting herself with saline solution to make her family believe she had cancer.
Jensen admitted a narcotic addiction and agreed to a detox program, but she refused treatment after she was released from Huntsman, the police document said.
Upon further investigation, police said they found that Jensen had submitted 21 forged doctor’s notes as part of her court probation following a 2016 case in which she entered a plea in abeyance on forgery and identity fraud charges.
Those notes explained phony medical treatments and related narcotic use for cancer pain, the police document said.
Investigators said they determined insurance companies paid out $37,000 to cover treatments and medications resulting from alleged forgeries.